How can I save a customized fretboard diagram?

• Jan 20, 2022 - 04:17

My issue pertains to trying to custom make my own chord diagrams, and then save them in a custom palette. I do have a palette of ukulele chord diagrams that I have downloaded, but I would like to take a given diagram, make changes to it (including changing its name), and then save the changed diagram so that I can use it again in another score. I have gone through (several times) the extensive “Fretboard Diagram” materials on line, plus the linked materials specifically on “How to Use Fretboard Diagrams for Custom and Complex Chords”, but I do not seem to be able to find how to save a fretboard diagram that I have customized in a palette for future use. After review, it seems like all of the instruction is on how to change the appearance of a diagram in the score. (Also, I'm currently working my way through the online "Mastering Musescore" course, and I can't seem to find where it addresses this topic either.)

If anyone knows how I can save a customized diagram so that I don’t have to repeat the editing process next time I want that same diagram, I would be very grateful if you would share that information.


On Windows Ctrl-Shift drag to a palette cell.

On the Mac Cmd-Shift drag to a palette cell.

Release on a Palette cell when you see the green +.

One small issue that can confuse. You must have both command keys down before you click-drag. In many applications you just need to have both down before you complete the drag/release.

Let us know if that works

In reply to by scorster

Scorester: thank you very much for the suggestion. I am running Windows based system, and it does work as you said, so I can now edit chord diagrams and save them. That’s a big help.

I do, however, have another question relating to chord diagrams, which I am hoping that you, or someone else might be able to answer. The question pertains to my objective of being able to put a series of chord diagrams at the very top of my score, each one labeled by its name (G, C7, Dm, etc), and then throughout the score I would like to have simply the chord name appear over the staff identifying where chord changes are made in the score. In other words, I only want the diagrams at the top of the score, I do not want them to appear in the score itself. (FYI, I’m attaching a PDF file showing the first couple of bars of “King of the Road”, which illustrates the format I have in mind, and I trust this will be recognized as fairly standard format for guitar/uke lead sheets.) So, my question: is there a way that I can implement this format without having to link the chord diagrams to a specific note or rest in the score? In other words, can I place my chord diagrams at the top of my score as a type of drag and drop, “free floating” image? Or does every chord diagram have to be linked to a specific note or rest? The linking creates a small issue that I have figured out a way to work around, but I think scoring this format would be a bit easier if the linking is not required, which is why I'm asking.

As before, any insights you (or anyone else) might be able to share would be much appreciated. And, thanks again for the suggestion on chord diagram editing.

Attachment Size
King of The Road.pdf 134.44 KB

In reply to by wskladony

Yes, you can place images in your score. So, add a chord diagrams somewhere, make an image of it (e.g., using the Image Capture tool on the main toolbar) then you can paste it into the title frame or elsewhere and position it as you see fit. You might find it convenient to use a scratch staff, attach the diagrams to the rests and take an image of all them together, to get them spaced and aligned nicely.

Then to add the chord symbols, just do so normally - Ctrl+K then type away.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc: thank you very much, the editing steps you described worked great, and I can now create those chord diagrams as images and place them at the beginning of the score without linking to a particular note/rest. Just what I wanted to do. One follow up question, which I really believe will be my last one on chord diagrams. That is: can I create tweak a fretboard diagram so that it includes the note names within the circles that show what frets are held down to play the chord? An example of what I mean is in the attached PDF doc.

Again, the info you provided on doing the image capturing was much appreciated.

Attachment Size
Fretboard Diagram with note names.pdf 36.61 KB

In reply to by wskladony


With SVG graphics you can create a customized "chord diagram legend" with a style not supported by MuseScore's fretboard diagrams. You can also create a folder of SVGs, one for each chord. Then for convenient use, you can load each of those to a a cell in a custom MuseScore palette, or add them to any palette.

I made a couple of examples with Affinity Designer:

       G C D Chord Diagrams with Letter Names.png

You can also see these legends in the attached score (each as a placed SVG graphic.)

       SVG Chord Legend in Frame.mscz


Attachment Size
SVG Chord Legend in Frame.mscz 25.15 KB

In reply to by scorster

Scorester: thanks once again for your input. Yes, what you have shown above is exactly what I had in mind, though time will tell whether I'll undertake learning and using a separate program (such as the Affinity Designer program you used) to achieve my objective. Obviously, it would have been a bit easier if the feature was already built into Musecore, but I appreciate being advised on how I can do a work around. Thanks!

May I add another issue that arised in this context: Having dragged/dropped a couple (5) of customized fretboard diagrams to the palette, any further ones cannot be saved this way. Any attempt to ctrl+shift grip the diagram gives a red slashed circle traffic sign, which I understand as "not allowed" or "not possible". It would happen with any further diagram.

I have a customized workspace, and have had Musescore several times closed and restarted. Version is 4.1.1, Windows 11 Pro, Intel Core i5-8400 CPU, 8 GB RAM.

I would not assume that there is a limit of 5 customized fretboard diagrams to be saved, is it? Did anyone have a similar problem? Does anyone have an idea what the problem is?

In reply to by RudoSaxx

There's no limit. However, the drag & drop system for customizing palettes is what I can best describe as "finicky" about exactly how you drop. Sometimes it helps to move your mouse out of the palette and back in. or to close and reopen the palette. Or just keep moving your mouse around the palette until you find the spot where the drop becomes allowed. but definitely, you can add as many as you like.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, thank you for your quick reply. I tried closing and reopening the palette, even hiding and re-adding again. Also closed and restarted Window.

But the problem is not the drop but the grip. The moment I click on the diagram, ctrl+shift pressed, and try to drag only a mm, the red sign appears.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Oh, yes, that's right. Thank you so much. I just froze when I saw the red sign, should simply have continued dragging.

Anyway, is is also normal that you cannot see the palette move while dragging, despite the red sign? I cannot swear to it, but I might have seen it moving the first couple of times, so I was confused afterwards. But, well, it could also be total delusion.

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